Saturday, 16 February 2019

Gifted Gorgeouness - February

It's Gifted Gorgeousness time - a great blog sharing idea hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. A chance to share any gift we have sent or received - we all link our blog to Jo's and can then visit everyone else's blog to see their wonderful gifts. Thank you Jo for organising GG2019.

February is a special month for us, not only celebrating Valentine's Day and our Engagement (photos in my previous post) but our daughter's birthday. Every year I stitch her a little something; this year I've made a Newton's Law bookmark. He is so cute, most years I've stitched Newton or Tatty Ted.

Newton's Law Bookmark
for Philippa's birthday
Unbelievably this year she is 25, so many years, so many wonderful memories which are added to each time we're with her in Cardiff. We're just back from a few days visiting her, always a lovely time. I was very pleased her cake made it, especially as I kept it hidden in the tin/bag until after dinner. It's a lemon and lime cake (homemade) with gin and tonic icing (from Sainsbury's).

Philippa's Cake
Yesterday was Needlecraft Haven's Valentine Exchange, an exchange of friendship. Everyone who signed up stitched a card which had to have a heart included in the design, include a sweet treat and a skein of thread to match the card.

It's an anon exchange with everyone signing their card 'stitching love from everyone at Needlecraft Haven '. I had to wait until today to upload my GG blog as today is the reveal of who sent to who.

I'm quite a practical stitcher and like my work to be useful so I decided to stitch a broach and pin it onto the heart. The hardest part was finding a card the right size and getting the brooch pinned on. I stitched the heart on perforated paper and embellished it with beads.

The sweet treat was Green and Black's Raspberry and Hazelnut Dark Chocolate and the threads were DMC 899 and S899. My parcel traveled over to France to Mary, her blog is Le Coeur Celtique.

My heart card for Mary
The brooch pinned on to the fabric 
The Valentine's Exchange I sent to Mary 
I received a beautiful card from Sue, I'm hoping I will be able to use it on the top of a box as it is too lovely to be put in a drawer. Sue also sent some lovely red fabric with hearts on, some matching ribbon and some stitching fabric that has small hearts in, I have not seen this before. DMC 924 was the matching thread and my sweet treat was a bag of chocolate hearts - thank you Sue for a super exchange parcel.
My beautiful card from Sue
My Valentine's Exchange from Sue 
A month of lovely gifts, February is always a special time, I hope you've had a lovely month too.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

The lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching has organised the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop. She is so good at these hops which are a fun way to meet new bloggers and to see each others amazing craft work.

For this Blog Hop we had to send Jo a photo if a heart we had made. She has then sent everyone in the Hop a heart photo - this is the beautiful heart I received.

However I have no idea who it is from ... for this hop we have to visit all the Bloggers taking part who Jo has listed on her blog and say in the comments when we spot our photo - oh what fun it will be to hunt for my photo and discover whose craftwork made this beautiful heart ??

Here's the link to Jo's blog so you can go hopping - Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop 

Thanks Jo for another great Blog Hop,  happy hopping everyone!

I love Valentine's Day mainly because Hubby and I were engaged on February 14th 1986 ... how time flies 😍

Engagement Memories from our Keepsake Book
This year we have celebrated at breakfast instead of a special dinner tonight. We have been in Cardiff visiting our daughter and as a real treat last night we stayed at the Celtic Manor, a hotel I have always wanted to visit. We have to be home this evening and will be busy so our stay was last night which means this morning we've woken up in this lovely hotel.

Celtic Manor
Super King bed
Our amazing room 
It is opening day for Needlecraft Haven's Valentine Exchange today, I'll be opening my parcel once we're home and I'll be posting about the gifts sent and received in my next blog.

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day celebrating love and friendship.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Winter Challenge

At Needlecraft Haven we're combining our Monthly Challenge and Four Seasons SAL. This year we have a Seasonal Challenge. Each season Christine, one of our members, reveals a Christmas design and a general design, each design is a free online chart that Christine has found.

We can stitch either or both designs and finish them however we like sending Christine a photo which she puts into an online album. Our photos are revealed in a Gallery at the start of the final month for that season. We can see everyone's work and it gives those still to finish some ideas.

I have finished the Christmas design for our Winter Challenge - a cute snowman from La Comtesse & Le Ponit de Croix  I chose a rustic finish, not something I have done before for a Christmas ornament but I'm very pleased how it turned out.
Winter Challenge
I have completed the first week of February for my two Temperature Quilt SALs.  The photos look a little drab but I think it's because I took the photos in electric light. I'll try to remember to take them in daylight next time.

My nighttime quilt
My daytime quilt
I'll have some more stitching, and baking, to share soon as it's our daughter's birthday on the 17th. We're off to Cardiff tomorrow to spend a few days with her ... it's hard to believe she will be 25 😍

Sunday, 3 February 2019

February - two more ornaments

I'm managing to do some stitching with the meds but simple charts as I have to keep rereading and doing one step at a time. Hopefully they will be out my system soon as I have a couple of charts I want to start.

I have finished two more ornaments for my church tree, I cut out a little more on these and added some Dove's Eyes. I'll be making another two of these and three of the other one before looking through my charts for another small design.

Thank you everyone who has pledged an ornament, I'll be putting a list of where they are all from up at church by my tree.

Ornaments 2 & 3
I have completed my two Temperature Quilts to the end of January, we haven't had any heavy snow but some ice and a few flurries. On those days I've added a silver cross. I wonder if February will have any more silver to add.

Daytime Tempersture Quilt
Nighttime Temperature Quilt 
It's exchange time at Needlecraft Haven. For Valentine's Day we're having a friendship exchange, we needed to stitch a card and include a skein of thread and a sweet treat in our parcel. Mine's currently with Postie so fingers crossed my partner receives it soon, I'll share the photos later this month.

My final photo is my Drawn Thread February chart. This is the first time it's been in the frame after I changed the set from box finishes to changeable frameable finishes. It fits perfectly, the frame has suited all the months which I'm very pleased about.

February- The Drawn Thread

I hope you had a very crafty January and your fingers are busy this month too.

Monday, 28 January 2019

January's stitching

I know there are a few more days left in January but this week will be a little difficult for me to post. Unfortunately today I have had to start a short but high dose of steroids as I'm suffering an MS relapse. They always knock me about so it will be around ten days before I will feel like writing much. I'm hoping to still be able to do some stitching but it will be on easy designs as the meds always make me a little confused.

My MIL will also be here from Thursday for around a week as she will be recovering from a small hospital treatment, and of course our son is still recovering from his broken wrist/arm. He has some movement in it but not a great deal, he has another hospital appointment tomorrow .....

..... with all that said here's my  January stitching.

I mentioned in my previous post about doing Hetti's temperature chart using the highest temperature of each day depending on where I was. I loved doing this so much I decided to also do a lowest temperature chart. We had a few days away on the English coast so I recorded the temperature whilst there. I have also added a small silver cross as one day at home we had a covering of snow.

A few of the ladies at Needlecraft Haven have also decided to stitch this quilt so we've set up the Temperature Quilt SAL. We all live in different locations and although we have only just started it's amazing to see the different colours on each piece. We check in each Friday with our progress.
My daytime chart
My nighttime chart
Thank you to everyone who has offered to stitch a small hardanger ornament for my 2019 tree at our church festival. I have made one already, it was quite quick: I'll be stitching these in the Needlecraft Haven Parlour each Wednesday. In the January sales I found some bits for the tree as well as a white snow scene cover for the bucket the tree stands in.

My first ornament for my 2019 tree
My La Pense Positive is growing well, thanks again to the ladies at Needlecraft Haven. A few other members decided to stitch this design too so I've set up the LPP SAL, it's always an encouragement to stitch with others, we post up our progress each weekend. I decided to stitch the French version as it will be for our bedroom where we already have a map of France hanging there.

Part one a d two completed 
We had a lovely few days away, our son certainly needed a change of scene and it was near enough for our daughter and her boyfriend to join us for a day. You can read about our adventures in my Aimetu - wine, food and travel blog. Our apartment was amazing with a great patio/balcony overlooking the marina.

The Second Severn crossing taken on our holiday
Wales is on the left, England on the right
On Saturday our Scout Group did their annual relay walk. This year the group walked in relay over a circuit from our HQ and back to cover a total of 105km. The Scouts and Explorers did the first circuits Friday night to Saturday morning. My DH did 7.30 am on Saturday with our good friend who is the Group Scout Leader. Saturday night, after the relay had been completed, we all enjoyed burgers and hotdogs at the HQ with a few presentations including the most funds raised.  This was won by one of our Explorer Scouts who through sponsorship raised over £200.

DH and our GSL won the 'Amblers' award although they did need to go slow or they would have been back before the next group was ready to leave. It's a great event for all the Group, next year we are hoping to set up a Just Giving page to help raise more funds.
DH with his award and photo of
him on the walk.
Hopefully I will be posting early February, in the meantime I'll be enjoying all your news and January matchups.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Gifted Gorgeouness January

Gifted Gorgeouness is hosted by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. Each month on or around the 15th we share our blog posts about gifts we have received or gifts we have sent. It's lovely to see everyone's work and also the kindness and joy spread through our love of stitching.

Although it's a new year I'm starting with a quick look back to a few gifts I could not share in GG December. Firstly the beautiful Halloween chart I won in Ariadne's giveaway, not only did she send the chart but some lovely stitching items too - thank you so much Ariadne.

My giveaway parcel from Ariadne
In December I stitched the final three bookmarks of the year for my friends, it was a little tight time wise and Christine's was actually stitched whilst on our river cruise holiday. I really enjoyed stitching all 12 bookmarks, each one a different design.

For Christine
For Louise
For Angi
For Christmas this year I made felt stockings for my friends. The idea came from a beautiful stocking sent to me a few years ago by my American friend Cathy. They were made in stages over the year, on holidays and at home. I quite enjoyed making them and felt a sense of achievement getting all 17 done in time for the Christmas posting.

One of the felt stockings I made for my friends
So moving on to 2019 - I really enjoy hosting Needlecraft Haven stitching forum, the members are such lovely ladies and we have great fun sharing our crafting, our SALs and Exchanges.

Haven Awards are automatically given as member reaches post totals and we have just had our first Diamond Havener. Julie has posted over 10,000 times since the forum began in 2010 - I could not let this fantastic achievement and dedication to Needlecraft Haven go unrecognised so I stitched Julie a little ornament to celebrate, well done Julie.

Julie's celebration ornament. 
My final 'gift' is from Hetti at XX Stitches in Blue XX. Last year Hetti gifted the stitching world a free chart linked to a temperature SAL. I'm late coming to this, I discovered it as Jo has just posted about her beautiful finished piece which you can see here. I love the idea of stitching depending on the temperature and so I am doing this in 2019.

I've decided to record the temperature each day of where I actually am not my home town so it will have big colour variants when we're on holiday and it's cold at home. Each day I will record the highest temperature and following Hetti's chart will stitch that day's design in the corresponding colour. You can download Hetti's chart from her blog post here.

I've sorted my fabric and once complete it will be a home gift as I'll be making it into a small table mat. I'm stitching it on DMC Charles Craft Monaco Lugana 28ct in white which was gifted to me by Brenda many years ago. My colour code (Celcius) will be:
Below zero to 4 degrees - DMC 827
5 to 9 degrees - DMC 931
10 to 14 degrees - DMC 502
15 to 19 degrees - DMC 972
20 to 24 degrees - DMC 740
25 to 29 degrees - DMC 350
Above 30 dgrees - DMC 326

My temperature chart kitted up 

I'm going to start this as a SAL on Needlecraft Haven, many of our members have blogs so you might see a few more temperature projects, happy stitching everyone x x

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Tree Festival - Christmas 2019

All the decorations are down for another year and winter is setting in with the weather here in the UK turning chilly. It's at this time of year I plan my theme for this year's tree - it sounds early but it is nice to make an ornament a month rather than a rush in the autumn.

I know many friends have previously made an ornament for my tree at church. I am so grateful for your help and kindness and each year the church ladies do ask if any of the ornaments have been sent from afar. 

So the news is .... I have decided on my theme .... The White Tree. 

Image result for white christmas

I would like to have an all white tree this time; white lights; white tinsel; white baubles; and white ornaments .... which made me immediately think of hardanger!

Hardanger is beautiful, stitched on white fabric with white thread .... yes I know there are holes but there does not have to be. It looks superb with or without cutting. The ornaments can be edged with blanket stitch or made into an ornament using white backing fabric. 

I will be aiming to make 12 - 15 ornaments and would be delighted if  you would like to send one too. They can be cut or uncut (I'm happy to do the cutting for you). 

I have found a few free online charts that may be useful, to be made in just white and finished as an ornament. I have added the link in each caption. 

Victoria Sampler - Crystal Waters
Victoria Sampler - Heirloom Wedding Sampler 
Victoria Sampler - Butterfly Fob 
There are so many designs on Pinterest, it's always fun to go browsing. I'm sure I will be spending many hours looking as well as stitching.

I'm really excited to getting started with this year's ornaments, if you'd like to stitch one too please post 'Me too' in the comments box. Let me know if you have any questions. 

I'm off to find my fabric and threads - happy hardangering !